While most of the college football world had their attention on games in Waco and Eugene on Saturday night, Mizzou lost to Syracuse 31-27 to put the Tigers bowl hopes in serious jeopardy.
At one point the Tigers led the Orange by 14 points. But the Tigers couldn’t hold on, as poor blocking and penalties on the offensive line negated several big plays on offense.
Syracuse deserves a lot of credit for the way it adjusted its offense. Orange wide receiver Alec Lemon caused all sorts of trouble for Tigers corner back Randy Ponder. Syracuse’s offense looked for Lemon down the stretch and he ended up with 244 receiving yards, including the game winning touchdown catch with 21 seconds left. Prior to the last touchdown, Orange quarterback Ryan Nassib picked apart the Tigers’ zone defense with quick strikers on slant routes.
Mizzou quarterback James Franklin left the game in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a head or neck injury. Corbin Berkstresser stepped in and led the Tigers to 10 fourth quarter points. Mizzou plays at Texas A&M next week, so Franklin’s injury status will be a big talking point this week. The Tigers missed a golden chance to clinch bowl eligibility on Saturday, so they must defeat the Aggies in College Station to go 6-6.